Overview

The Department of Strategic Communication offers a major in Public Relations.

Students majoring in Public Relations learn how to promote a client's business, image, product or service. Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations (business, government, nonprofit, individual) and their public's. PR practitioners develop and deliver key messages through traditional and social media channels. The program provides a well-rounded education in public relations that emphasizes research and analysis, creative development and the relationship of all media to PR in both public and private sectors.

The hands-on curriculum reflects the importance of strategic critical thinking, research for understanding target audiences, writing, design expertise and creativity. Students create and execute a PR campaign in a senior-level capstone course that serves a client organization in the community. Demand for PR interns is high, and qualified students may elect to participate in the internship program to acquire professional experience in South Florida and other regions. The program has ties to the Public Relations Society of America and maintains a Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.

Curriculum Requirements for General Track

Core Courses
STC 102Graphic Design for Strategic Communication3
STC 103Statistical Reasoning for Strategic Communication3
JMM 108Writing for the Digital Age3
STC 116Principles of Public Relations3
STC 201Public Relations Strategy Development3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
COS 211Public Speaking3
STC Courses
STC 232Writing for Public Relations3
STC 311Public Relations Research3
STC 435Advanced Research Methods for Public Relations3
STC 436Public Relations Campaigns3
Select One STC Elective:3
Crisis Communication and Management
Cases in Public Relations Administration
Public Relations Management
Corporate Communication and Public Relations
International Public Relations
Select 6 Credit Hours of School of Communication Electives with Approval of STC Faculty Advisor6
Marketing Requirement
MKT 301Marketing Foundations3
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 and ENG 1066
STC 103 (Double Counts for Major and Math Requirement)
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major or Elective51
Total Credit Hours120

Curriculum Requirements for Practice Track

Core Courses
STC 102Graphic Design for Strategic Communication3
STC 103Statistical Reasoning for Strategic Communication3
JMM 108Writing for the Digital Age3
STC 116Principles of Public Relations3
STC 201Public Relations Strategy Development3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
COS 211Public Speaking3
STC Courses
STC 203Advanced Graphic Design for Public Relations3
STC 232Writing for Public Relations3
STC 311Public Relations Research3
STC 346Public Relations Message Development and Execution3
STC 436Public Relations Campaigns3
Select two additional Public Relations Electives:6
Ethics in Strategic Communication
Travel and Tourism
Social Media Messaging and Strategies
International and Cross-cultural Advertising
Public Relations Internship
Public Opinion and Mass Communication
Crisis Communication and Management
Media Relations
Sports, Publicity, and Promotions
Public Relations Management
Corporate Communication and Public Relations
International Public Relations
Special Topics in Public Relations
Marketing Requirement
MKT 301Marketing Foundations3
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 and ENG 1066
STC 103 (Double Counts for Major and Math Requirement)
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major or Elective51
Total Credit Hours120

Upper Level Elective Requirement

36 credits at the 300 level or higher are required for graduation. These credits may be earned from your major, minor and/or second major, and electives. 

Suggested Plan of Study for General Track

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
STC 116 Principles of Public Relations 3
JMM 108 Writing for the Digital Age 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
STC 102 Graphic Design for Strategic Communication 3
STC 103 Statistical Reasoning for Strategic Communication 3
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
STC 201 Public Relations Strategy Development 3
School of Communication Elective Chosen with approval of STC Faculty Advisor 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 211 Public Speaking 3
STC 232 Writing for Public Relations 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
STC 311 Public Relations Research 3
Select 3 credits in STC/COS Electives with an International or Intercultural Focus: 3
International and Cross-cultural Advertising  
International Public Relations  
Introduction to Intercultural Communication  
Intercultural Communication: International Perspectives  
Minor or 2nd Major Course 6
300 Level Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
MKT 301 Marketing Foundations 3
STC 435 Advanced Research Methods for Public Relations 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
300 Level Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
STC 436 Public Relations Campaigns 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 6
300 Level Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Crisis Communication and Management  
Cases in Public Relations Administration  
Public Relations Management  
Corporate Communication and Public Relations  
Special Topics in Public Relations  
Minor or 2nd Major or Elective Courses 12
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study for Practice Track

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
STC 116 Principles of Public Relations 3
JMM 108 Writing for the Digital Age 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
STC 102 Graphic Design for Strategic Communication 3
STC 103 Statistical Reasoning for Strategic Communication 3
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
STC 201 Public Relations Strategy Development 3
STC 203 Advanced Graphic Design for Public Relations 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 211 Public Speaking 3
STC 232 Writing for Public Relations 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
STC 311 Public Relations Research 3
Select 3 credits in STC/COS Electives with an International or Intercultural Focus: 3
International and Cross-cultural Advertising  
International Public Relations  
Introduction to Intercultural Communication  
Intercultural Communication: International Perspectives  
Minor or 2nd Major Course 6
300 Level Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
MKT 301 Marketing Foundations 3
STC 346 Public Relations Message Development and Execution 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
300 Level Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
STC 436 Public Relations Campaigns 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 6
300 Level Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Ethics in Strategic Communication  
Travel and Tourism  
Social Media Messaging and Strategies  
Public Relations Internship  
Public Opinion and Mass Communication  
Crisis Communication and Management  
Media Relations  
Sports, Publicity, and Promotions  
Public Relations Management  
Corporate Communication and Public Relations  
Special Topics in Public Relations  
Minor or 2nd Major or Elective Courses 12
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Mission

The Public Relations Program mission is to prepare professional communicators who understand and can demonstrate the use of theory, research, planning and evaluation in effective public relations practice. We are committed to building students’ ability to apply ethical principles to decision-making and to perceive each communication and its intended audience holistically, based on understanding and appreciating cultural and other differences.

Goals

We seek to nurture students’ analytic and creative skills with the goal of graduating insightful, resourceful citizens of a global society, and to challenge them with multiple opportunities for learning, self-discovery and professional practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how research is conducted and findings are effectively applied to strategic communication planning and in the practice of public relations, including the ability to conduct secondary and primary research, compile and analyze data via statistical analyses and SPSS software, and interpret and summarize the results.
  • Students will write and design effective, audience-sensitive messages for public relations purposes in settings inside and outside the classroom that follow standards of professional practice.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to prepare and evaluate strategic communication plans/ proposals at a professional level, which requires effective research, writing, design and oral presentation skills.